BuqoYA cover FINAL

Summary from Goodreads:

Cocoy’s not-so-secret dream is to one day become a gun-toting, ass-kicking secret agent. But she has another dream—and this time, even her best friends don’t have a clue—she dreamsof someone. Problem is, she finds out that Jaime Arguelles—a.k.a. the guy she’d been secretly crushing on for years—likes girls who . . . well . . . like pink. To Cocoy’s logical mind, there’s only one solution: it’s time to go girly. After all, how hard can it be?

With the help of her friends, Cocoy embarks on a pink-tinged journey that somehow turns her neat and orderly life upside down. But it’s all good—because in the midst of her blossoming relationship, Cocoy learns a whole lot about life, love, dreams, and friendship . . . and about the healing power of pan de sal, Chippy, and Nutella.

When Cocoy Became Kikay was a delightful read. I don’t know if this is a debut but this is the first time I read Ms. Santi’s works and I must say I was really impressed. I love the simple narrative in this story, something I know most young-adults would love considering that the novella is geared towards the YA readers.

I initially thought that Cocoy was a boy (haha!) and this would be a story about “his” self-discovery and identity. As it turns out, yes, this is still about self-discovery and anyone, regardless of gender, can learn from Cocoy’s story.

There is a lot of heart in this story. The right amount of kilig is there but I am fonder when it comes to Cocoy’s friends. I enjoyed their banter and their varying personalities. I can really feel their loyalty and bond (because, who couldn’t, when they have that bizarre idea for a favorite snack?)

I didn’t have a hard time finishing this novella. In fact, I was able to finish it overnight when I initially planned on just reading a couple of chapters. That’s how engaging the story is.

When my little girl becomes a teen, I would definitely let her read this book. When Cocoy Became Kikay is one of those local YA novellas that really impressed me and made me wish that I was able to read this while I was younger. On second thought, and as I’ve already mentioned, this is one of those books that can still speak to anyone regardless of gender and age.

Highly recommended!

“And that’s why I want you to explore your options.” Lucy reached out and clasped my hand. “There’s more out there, Coy. There’s more to you than what you think.”


My Rating: 4/5 stars.

(Thank you, Ms. Santi, for the review copy!)

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